How do you ‘hear’ God? Does He speak to you? Does He speak through things other people say and do? Does He tell you things by how others act? How do you hear from God and know what He wants you to do?
I know one way I hear from God is from feelings in my heart. When I feel strongly about someone or something, I know God has given me this thought or idea. I need to act on it. Sometimes, I can act on something, do something right away but then I need to wait weeks or years for the results. Example: When I was little, I thought I would like to have a LOT of children, more children than any of my friends’ families had. There were some BIG families then: 8, 10, 11 kids. I wanted more. When I was 8, I started teaching 4 year old Sunday School. It was awesome but I could only work on the same Sunday my mom worked. When I was older, about 12, I began babysitting. I would take along a book and my cassette player. If I was lucky, the family had TV, so I could watch TV for awhile too. I baby sat till I went away to college at 18. Then I baby sat during the summers.
After I graduated, in between writing and producing jobs with my dad, I would baby sit. When the technical writing jobs ran out, I baby sat for families during the daytime and occasionally for long weekends. It occurred to me, during one of those long weekends, these were ‘my kids’. I influenced and took care of at least 60 kids during my baby sitting career. They were all taught Bible Stories, Sunday School songs, Sunday School games and things I would do with my own children, if I had any. The last kids I baby sat are in high school and college now. Many years of driving 30+ miles each way to be with them, but I loved them. They are from an awesome family and it was a wonderful experience.
God gave me all these kids–more than any family I knew growing up. I loved them as my own. I taught them things, we played, I learned to punish without spanking or being ‘mean’. I didn’t get married until I was 30. God gave me no biological children. We adopted 2 beautiful children in 2004. God could not have chosen them better…
Now I have the 2 permanent children God gave us. I need all the lessons I learned growing up so I raise them correctly. Our daughter can suddenly pitch a fit. I need to know how to calm her with words and quiet actions. Our son can get fixated on a game or be snubbed by friends. I need to know how to bolster his self esteem without giving him a big head about it.
God puts people in my life to help guide me carefully too. Most recently, He gave us a relationship with a family in Maine. On the surface, it doesn’t look like we have a whole lot in common. Digging a little deeper, oh, God has been busy bringing these 2 families together! I am friends with the mom. She is also a Christian. She encourages me. She has already gone through the parenting stage. There is her daughter, who was matched up with my daughter, to be a Running Buddy for a person with special needs. These 2 girls have a lot in common, love of animals, sweet caring natures, wanting to help others. There is the other daughter, who is as constant a crocheter as I am a knitter! I have a feeling the guys in the family will hit it off too, they are just more quiet about things.
And then, they are in MAINE. MAINE–the place Steve and I LOVE! I ventured to ask if we can visit in the summer so we can meet. The answer came back as YES! Moms encouraging moms, daughters encouraging daughters, animal lovers, Christians… God, how long have you been working on this one? Many years, I would say!
So, how do you listen to God? The way your children talk? A song on the radio? People fighting a war you don’t agree with? People who pass through your life–talking in the line at the grocery store?
God is everywhere. God cares what we do. God loves you so very, very much. Pay attention to those ‘coincidences’, those little love letters from God. He wants to tell you things every day. I know I am blessed daily by listening to Him. I pray when I knit. That’s a lot of prayer. Some of my prayer is silence–listening for God.
Today, I am most thankful for that family in Maine. They are wonderful, strong people. I pray they will know we only want to share our very best with them–our presence. We don’t have much more to offer. God is GOOD.